MR. ROCHESTER

Sarah Shoemaker

“Reader, she married me.”

For one hundred seventy years, Edward Fairfax Rochester has stood as one of literature’s most romantic, most complex, and most mysterious heroes. Sometimes haughty, sometimes tender—professing his love for Jane Eyre in one breath and denying it in the next—Mr. Rochester has for generations mesmerized, beguiled, and, yes, baffled fans of Charlotte Bronte’s masterpiece. But his own story has never been told.

Now, out of Sarah Shoemaker’s rich and vibrant imagination, springs Edward: a vulnerable, brilliant, complicated man whom we first meet as a motherless, lonely little boy roaming the corridors and stable yards of Thornfield Hall.

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“Reader, she married me.”

For one hundred seventy years, Edward Fairfax Rochester has stood as one of literature’s most romantic, most complex, and most mysterious heroes. Sometimes haughty, sometimes tender—professing his love for Jane Eyre in one breath and denying it in the next—Mr. Rochester has for generations mesmerized, beguiled, and, yes, baffled fans of Charlotte Bronte’s masterpiece. But his own story has never been told.

Now, out of Sarah Shoemaker’s rich and vibrant imagination, springs Edward: a vulnerable, brilliant, complicated man whom we first meet as a motherless, lonely little boy roaming the corridors and stable yards of Thornfield Hall. On the morning of Edward’s eighth birthday, his father issues a decree: He is to be sent away to get an education, exiled from Thornfield and all he ever loved. As the determined young Edward begins his journey across England, making friends and enemies along the way, a series of eccentric mentors teach him more than he might have wished about the ways of the men-and women-who will someday be his peers.

But much as he longs to be accepted—and to return to the home where he was born—his father has made clear that Thornfield is reserved for his older brother, Rowland, and that Edward’s inheritance lies instead on the warm, languid shores of faraway Jamaica. That island, however, holds secrets of its own, and not long after his arrival, Edward finds himself entangled in morally dubious business dealings and a passionate, whirlwind love affair with the town’s ravishing heiress, Antoinetta Bertha Mason.

Eventually, after a devastating betrayal, Edward must return to England with his increasingly unstable wife to take over as master of Thornfield. And it is there, on a twilight ride, that he meets the stubborn, plain, young governess who will teach him how to love again.

It is impossible not to watch enthralled as this tender-hearted child grows into the tormented hero Bronte immortalized—and as Jane surprises them both by stealing his heart. Mr. Rochester is a great, sweeping, classic coming-of-age story, and a stirring tale of adventure, romance, and deceit. Faithful in every particular to Bronte’s original yet full of unexpected twists and riveting behind-the-scenes drama, this novel will completely, deliciously, and forever change how we read and remember Jane Eyre.

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  • Grand Central Publishing
  • Hardcover
  • May 2017
  • 464 Pages
  • 9781455569809

Buy the Book

$27.00

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About Sarah Shoemaker

Sarah Shoemaker is a former university librarian and currently lives in northern Michigan.

Praise

“Shoemaker’s detailed writing will transport readers to a bygone age of romance and heartbreak.”Publishers Weekly

Mr. Rochester is beautifully paced and compelling as it delivers a sweeping narrative and a new perspective to one of literature’s most famous love stories… Though the novel will appeal most to fans of Jane Eyre, Shoemaker has recreated the spirit of the original, which will help those unfamiliar with the text enjoy this retelling.”BookPage

“It’s interesting to see…how Shoemaker constructs a biography from the information provided in Bronte’s novel and also to see the events familiar from that novel through [Rochester’s] point of view. Recommend this to anyone eager for another take on Jane Eyre.”Booklist